Devil's Night. All Hallows Eve. All Saints. All Souls. As my nod to being right now in the midst of our annual four-day celebration of other realms, I'm posting an image of "Four Apparitions." It was my first acrylic-and-CT-scan-film on canvas.
Last spring Oakley's sinuses kept acting up and so his doctor, to rule out "anything serious," ordered a bunch of CT scans. There was in fact nothing serious, and Oakley went home with a huge envelope stuffed full of a dizzying array of images of every hole in his head. Naturally, when I saw that tempting parcel bearing the words PATIENT'S COPY, I couldn't resist taking a look for myself. I held those films, sheet after sheet of them, up to the light. Who knows? Maybe I'd see something the radiologist didn't.
And wow, did I ever! What I saw was a levitating chorus line of otherwordly beings. They were linking their outstretched arms, celebratory, ready to kick their choreographed legs in the air at any minute. And I heard them too. They were belting out a gutsy rendition of "There's No Business Like Show Business." Go ahead. Enlarge the picture and look closely. You'll see that Ethel Merman is on the far left, followed by Hiram, then Lily. The last one's identity I'm still puzzling over. Any ideas?
I found them quite the festive ensemble, more than worthy of gracing one of my humble paintings. So I completed "Four Apparitions" as a part of our "Medicine Show," a show involving sixteen artists at the gallery this past August. I also labored over an "Alternative Medicine Cabinet," which found the proper home rather quickly. The apparitions are another story.
It's not that my dancing spirits haven't gotten their share of interest. I have been told that the two predominant colors vibrate against one another effectively. I have been told that the reddish line serving as a sort of "horizon" works, that the little strip of black with the intriguing shapes completes the composition with grace.
That's when I go and open my big mouth and say, "YES!--aren't those just AMAZING? You'd never guess--they're CT scan films of my son's sinuses!!!" Then my prospective buyer slowly backs away as though I'd just said the media involved are acrylic, crushed gallstones, and old liposuction extracts. One woman said, "EW!!! That completely changes the way I look at it now."
Oh well, I have a fondness for the piece and if I don't sell it, I'll take it home. A place of honor over the dining room table awaits.